Home  |  Top News  |  Most Popular  |  Video  |  Multimedia  |  News Feeds  |  Feedback
  Medicine  |  Nature & Earth  |  Biology  |  Technology & Engineering  |  Space & Planetary  |  Psychology  |  Physics & Chemistry  |  Economics  |  Archaeology
Top > Medicine, Health Care > Sobered Up Using LSD: Journal… >
Sobered Up Using LSD: Journal of Psychopharmacology Article Examines Intriguing Evidence on the Psychedelic Drug

Published: March 8, 2012.
By Norwegian University of Science and Technology
http://www.ntnu.edu

Forty years ago, LSD was used in the treatment of alcoholics - with good results. Perhaps it's time to look at it again?

In the 1950s, '60s and '70s, researchers in many places in the world experimented with LSD in the treatment of various disorders, including alcoholism. Not all experiments were scientifically tenable by today's standards, but some were. Now Teri Krebs and Pål-Ørjan Johansen, researchers at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU), have taken a closer look at these experiments.

The results of all of these studies pointed in the same direction, which Krebs and Johansen say is quite clear: A single dose of LSD, provided for treatment purposes, helped heavy alcoholics and made it less likely that they would relapse.

"There has long been a need for better treatments for addiction. We think it is time to look at the use of psychedelics in treating various conditions," the researchers say.

536 alcoholics

The Norwegian researchers found six different studies of LSD and alcoholism that were scientifically sound, in which patients were randomly assigned, as if by tossing a coin, to receive either LSD or a comparison treatment. They combined all the data from these studies, involving a total of 536 people – the first such rigorous quantitative analysis in the world.

All of the studies were conducted either in the U.S. or Canada between 1966 and 1970. The studies all involved individuals who were admitted to treatment for alcoholism and who voluntarily participated in the trials. Nearly all were men.

Within each of the studies all patients were given the same treatment programme. But on one treatment day some patients were given a single large dose of LSD, while control patients received a low dose of LSD or a stimulant drug - or nothing. In some studies, during the duration of the drug effects, patients talked with a therapist, while in other studies, patients received only brief reassurance if they wanted. But all were encouraged to reflect on their alcohol problem.

Neither patients nor the individuals who were treating them knew in advance who would get a full dose of LSD.

Clear improvements - greater opportunities

"In independent and standardized follow-up examinations, ranging from one to twelve months later, all of the studies showed that the patients who had received a full dose of LSD fared the best. On average, 59 per cent of full-dose patients showed a clear improvement compared with 38 per cent in the other groups," say Krebs and Johansen.

LSD patients were less likely to relapse into problematic alcohol use and had higher levels of total abstinence. In some studies their relatives also reported the same findings. Many of the patients said they had gained a new appreciation for their alcohol problem and new motivation to address it.

These patients also reported greater self-acceptance and openness, as well as greater faith in their ability to deal with future problems.

Affects the brain

"We do not yet fully know why LSD works this way," the researchers admit. "But we know that the substance is non-toxic and that it is not addictive. We also know that it has a striking effect on the imagination, perception and memories."

The researchers explain that LSD interacts with a specific type of serotonin receptor in the brain.

"LSD may stimulate the formation of new connections and patterns, and generally seems to open an individual to an awareness of new perspectives and opportunities for action," they say.

Not followed up

By 1971 LSD had been banned for non-medical use, and although the drug was and is still permitted as an experimental medical treatment, it became increasingly difficult to conduct clinical trials. Despite the promising studies, LSD was claimed to have no demonstrated medical use. There may be several reasons for this, the researchers explained.

"The earliest studies reported promising results but also had methodological problems. Many scientists expected unrealistically good results from a single dose, and tended to ignore effects that lasted less than a year. Importantly, many of the individual studies did not have enough patients to reach a conclusion by themselves."

"But when we combine studies that had sound methodology, the results are unambiguous. We can therefore safely conclude that a single dose of LSD had a positive treatment effect that lasted at least six months," Krebs and Johansen said.

Should offer repeated doses

The improvement was greatest during the first few months of treatment. As the months passed, the effect gradually decreased.

"It is unusual for psychiatric drugs to have an effect that lasts for several months after a single dose. We now better understand that alcoholism is a chronic, relapsing disorder that typically requires ongoing treatment. The next step should be to periodically provide additional doses of LSD in combination with modern evidence-based treatment programs," the researchers conclude.

The meta-analysis is being published in the Journal of Psychopharmacology.


Show Reference »


Translate this page: Chinese French German Italian Japanese Korean Portuguese Russian Spanish


 
All comments are reviewed before being posted. We cannot accept messages that refer a product, or web site.If you are looking for a response to a question please use our another feedback page.
Related »

People 
7/3/13 
Lifesaving HIV Treatment Could Reach Millions More People Following Landmark Study
By University of New South Wales
Millions more people could get access to life-saving HIV drug therapy, following a landmark study led by Australian researchers based at the Kirby Institute at the University of New …
Dose 
7/27/12 
Standard Radiation Therapy Dose Provides Pain Relief for Painful Heel Spurs
By American Society for Radiation Oncology
Patients with plantar fasciitis (painful bone heel spur) experience significantly less pain and improved quality of life following a standard dose of external beam radiation therapy, a common cancer …
Low 
5/2/12 
Low-dose Whole-body CT Finds Disease Missed on Standard Imaging for Patients with Multiple Myeloma
By American Roentgen Ray Society
Low dose whole body CT is nearly four times better than radiographic skeletal survey, the standard of care in the U.S., for determining the extent of disease in patients …
Brachytherapy 
6/23/10 
Optimizing Brachytherapy Dose on the Same Day as the Implant Can Control Prostate Cancer
By Elhuyar Fundazioa
Ensuring the optimum radiation dose on the same day as the brachytherapy implant in prostate cancer treatment manages to control the illness in about 95% of the cases. This …
Dose 
6/16/10 
Mayo Clinic Proceedings: Gabapentin Opens Window of Communication
By Mayo Clinic
ROCHESTER, Minn. -- For patients with quadriplegia, mutism and lower cranial nerve paralysis (locked-in syndrome), their only means of interacting with others is through vertical gaze and upper eyelid …
Milligrams 
4/18/12 
New Medication Offers Hope to Patients with Frequent, Uncontrollable Seizures
By Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions
A new type of anti-epilepsy medication that selectively targets proteins in the brain that control excitability may significantly reduce seizure frequency in people whose recurrent seizures have been resistant …
Patients 
2/1/12 
Experimental Drug Reduces 'Second Stroke' After Aneurysm Rupture
By American Heart Association
An experimental drug, clazosentan, reduced the risk of blood vessel spasm in patients with a brain aneurysm, according to research presented at the American Stroke Association's International Stroke Conference …
Levels 
11/17/10 
New Drug Targets Vitamin D Receptors in Hormone Resistant Prostate Cancers
By ECCO-the European CanCer Organisation
A new anti-cancer drug aimed at vitamin D receptors on cancer cells has prompted encouraging responses in the levels of PSA (prostate specific antigen) in men with prostate cancer …
Patients 
4/6/11 
Modern Targeted Drug Plus Old Malaria Pill Serve a 1-2 Punch in Advanced Cancer Patients
By University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine
ORLANDO -- Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine may have found a way to turn an adaptive cellular response into a liability for cancer cells. When …
Peramivir 
9/8/14 
New Single-dose Influenza Drug Appears Safe And Effective
By American Society for Microbiology
An analysis of phase 2 and phase 3 clinical trials shows that a single injected dose of the neuraminidase inhibitor (NAI) peramivir is safe and effective at alleviating influenza …
More » 
 
© Newsline Group  |  About  |  Privacy Policy  |  Feedback  |  Mobile  |  Japanese Edition